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Need some positive results posts

bluelabratbbluelabrat Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am a 65 year old with a double cervical fusion in 1998 due to an auto accident. I did very well post surgery, but am now scheduled to have fusion of L-4 through S-1,with rods and screws. I have researched my surgeon, the hospital, etc. but I am very nervous about this surgery. I have an excellent pain tolerance (bilateral knee replacement in 2006 and used almost no post surgery pain meds) I have been reading this forum to try to find out what it will be like afterwards, but haven't found many positive experiences. I know it will be very painful. Is there anyone out there who had a positive outcome?

Thanks so much!


  • Welcome to Spine Health Blue :)

    In 2008 I had PLIF L4-S1- I would do it again. I love my low back now. I won't sugar coat it for you. It was brutal. I was in the hospital for 5/6 day. Pretty much out of it at home for 2 more weeks (the pain was bad so the doctor kep me well medicated). Each day got a little better. I was back to work at 11 weeks (outside sale so nothing hard).

    I wish I could say the rest of my spine was as good as my new lumbar spine.

    My neck I am still not certain about.... Thoracic is a mess. Lumbar however is GREAT :)

    Cheers :D

  • He is 67 now, went in in tremendous pain and was told he would be in wheel chair within six months. He walked out of the hospital four days later, walked upstairs when we got home and has not taken a pain pill since the operation. He did do exactly what the doctors told him, did not sit for long at all for a long time, went for daily walks which he extended each day and then did the exercises faithfully when he started physio.
    He is golfing now and fishing and doing stuff he should probably not do and has no regrets whatsoever about the operation.
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  • Thanks! I will try to focus on those results. I can handle anything for a while,but need a light at the end of the tunnel. I am a veterinary technician at a university and have a very active job, but can retire any time so we'll see I guess.
  • You are right. It will be very painful. I had a three-level in November 2008 and recovery was sheer hell. Given the choice, however, I would do it over again. Before surgery I could barely walk (heck, barely move) without massive jolts of pain surging down my legs. I do have stiffness and occasional pain now, but my life is fairly normal. I take the dog for long walks, play ball, and am fairly active. I can't lift extremely heavy things and getting up and down from the ground can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. I have a kneeler-bench I use in the yard to do my gardening, so that helps. Life is good! I rarely need a pain pill at all any more. Just maybe a couple times a month when I've overdone something.

    I hope your surgery is successful. Your recovery will be long and difficult (count on at least a year), but one day, you'll find you feel one heck of a lot better!
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Dear Blue, You sound alot like me. I'm having my double fusion on April 6th. Don't know what's in store, but must be better than what I'm experiencing now! I know how surgery can hurt. I had my colon removed in 1987 and that hurt alot. I know this will probably be worse, but I'm ready. I want to walk again without pain, hold my granddaughter without pain, and walk the dog again without pain.I wish you blessings from God that He will bring you through this and be so much better afterwards.
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  • I also have bilateral knee replacements. There doing fine . There are alot of sucess stories in regard to this procedure but are no longer on the site. Life goes on for them doing well I know what you mean.. I have read some relly rough cases on here pretty sad.
    I had L5 and S1 fused with bone graph and a fusion. They cleaned out L4 so nothing else was don. I have a bad habit I smoke cigars. Do not smoke it does affect the procedure.One of the fusions has not taken.I have had a couple of injections and 1 for next week. I do know I'm going to have another surgery I believe they use a cadaver go in through my stomach.I do have hardware there going to keep it in.I'm 59 not ready to give up I have some goals for my self. I want to ride some charity rides on my road bide. Starting at 40 mi and working my way up.
    Just have a postive mindset and you will be fine. I feel the same way even at this point. I will be fine.
    Wish you alot of luck and nothing but positive from me to you.
  • Let's keep in touch. I will try to post ASAP after my surgery. I had a surgery buddy after my knees were done and it really helped. I'm having an MRI on my neck next week. The surgeon said I may have to have an 'awake' intubation. Has anyone heard of that? sounds pretty spooky to me.

  • Let's keep in touch. I will try to post ASAP after my surgery. I had a surgery buddy after my knees were done and it really helped. I'm having an MRI on my neck next week. The surgeon said I may have to have an 'awake' intubation. Has anyone heard of that? sounds pretty spooky to me.

  • Hi there -

    I had C5-6-7 fusion surgery followed by L5-S1 fusion and I couldn't be happier that I did it. I'm not 100%, and I suspect that I never will be, but I'm not in daily pain anymore. I don't have to take drugs to get through the day anymore. I don't have to get shots of steroids into my spine anymore. I wouldn't say that I feel 100% normal, but I don't feel bad!

    In saying that, I want to paint a realistic picture. It took time to get here. There were plenty of flare ups of pain and pre-op symptoms (e.g., sciatica) for two years after my lumbar surgery, and each time, I freaked out, thinking that I was never going to get better. My surgeon reassured me each time that such flare ups were to be expected, and that so long as they went away after a couple of weeks, it was fine. Then one day around the two year mark, I realized that I hadn't had a flare up for a while and that I felt stronger, with more energy. Flare ups will probably happen for the rest of my life, but they are very rare now, and I with some adjustments to protect my spine, I feel like I'm living like a regular human again!

    So stay positive! Keep in mind that you're more likely to read negative stories on internet forums than positive ones, because when people heal and feel really good, they tend to move on with their lives. They may come back to forums from time to time, but not as often as people who visit them for support. I'm certainly guilty of that. I try to come back here to post about my experiences, but I don't do it as often as I should. Take care, and keep everyone posted!
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